Edward, Earl of Wessex

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Prince Edward (2015)

HRH Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex KG , GCVO , called Prince Edward (born March 10, 1964 in Buckingham Palace ), is the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Prince Philip . Through his father he also belongs to the Princely House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg .


British royal family
Badge of the House of Windsor, svg

HM The Queen
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

education and profession

Edward was initially tutored by a governess and then attended from 1972 the Heatherdown Preparatory School in Ascot , Berkshire . In 1977, like his father and brothers, he switched to the Gordonstoun private school in Scotland . There he passed his final exams in English literature, economics and political science in 1982 . In his school days he also excelled through many sporting activities. In the autumn of 1982 he worked as a supervisor for schoolchildren in New Zealand . In 1983 he began studying history at Jesus College , Cambridge , from which he graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA).

After graduating from college, Edward began officer training with the Royal Marines in October 1986 , but was unable to cope with the tough basic training. Due to the critical echo of the British press, he prematurely retired from military service in January 1987 (he has since been made an honorary colonel in several regiments by his mother ).

marriage and family

On June 19, 1999, Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones . The couple live in Bagshot Park , Surrey . You have two children:

  • Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (born November 8, 2003 in Frimley, Surrey ), called The Lady Louise Windsor at the request of her parents , was baptized on April 24, 2004 in the chapel of Windsor Castle . Her godparents are Lady Sarah Chatto (the daughter of Princess Margaret ), Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Lady Alexandra Etherington (daughter of the Duke of Fife), Francesca Schwarzenbach and Rupert Elliott.
  • James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Viscount Severn , (born December 17, 2007 in Frimley, Surrey ). The Viscount was baptized on April 19, 2008 in a chapel at Windsor Castle . The godparents were Alistair Bruce, Duncan Bullivant, Thomas Hill, Denise Poulton and Jeanye Irwin.

Both children can bear the title of Prince or Princess of Great Britain , which they are entitled to as the grandchildren of an English monarch. However, it had already been decided at the time of marriage that Prince Edward's children would not use the salutation His or Her Royal Highness , which would actually be associated with these titles. Rather, they bear the title of courtesy resulting from the title Earl of Wessex . The daughter is therefore called Lady Louise Windsor and the son bears the courtesy title Viscount Severn as an apparent marriage . All other possible children, however, would only receive the title the Honorable or Lady . Without this explanation from their parents, they would be known as Prince James and Princess Louise of Wessex, according to their cousins. Both children are free to use that name later.

At the time of his birth, Prince Edward was third in line to the British throne , behind his brothers Charles and Andrew . With the birth of their children and grandchildren, he slipped backwards and took eleventh place in line to the throne in front of his children.


He is the namesake for the Prince Edward Glacier in Antarctica.

Tasks and interests

Initially, the earl was hardly involved in public life, but rather aspired to the private sector. Edward initially worked for Andrew Lloyd Webber 's Really Useful Group theater production company , then founded his own TV production company, Ardent , in 1991 .

But Ardent made long-term losses. With his production company, Edward turned increasingly films about the royal family. In 2001, for example, a cameraman commissioned by him secretly filmed his nephew Prince William , although the press adhered to an agreement during this time not to portray and record Prince William in private. The media often accused Edward of using his position as a prince for business purposes. This and the scandal caused by his wife's indiscreet statements about the royal family (Sophie-Gate) brought the monarchy into a crisis. Thereupon the Earl and the Countess of Wessex announced publicly in 2002 that they would henceforth support the Queen in her duties more than before and would no longer pursue their own business activities. Therefore, Prince Edward ended his engagement with the TV production company Ardent .

Since then, the earl has had more official appointments for the royal family. He heads numerous non-profit organizations. He is particularly interested in young people, the arts and sports.


Royal standard
Coat of
arms of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

He is addressed as His Royal Highness The Prince Edward .

On the occasion of his wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19, 1999, he was awarded the titles Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .

Unlike his brothers ( Charles, Duke of Rothesay and Andrew, Earl of Inverness ) and his nephews ( William, Earl of Strathearn and Harry, Earl of Dumbarton ), Prince Edward initially did not receive a title that referred to the Scottish part of the country. Instead, at the time of his marriage, the British royal family announced that Prince Edward would later receive the title Duke of Edinburgh . As such, he would not inherit this title, which his father wears, when he dies because, like other dukedoms, it passes to the eldest son, Prince Charles . On the occasion of his birthday on March 10, 2019, Queen Elizabeth II also awarded him the title of Earl of Forfar in the Peerage of the United Kingdom . This title refers to the Scottish town of Forfar and is used by the prince from then on during stays in the Scottish part of the country.

Orders and decorations

country Abbreviation medal Year of award Fig.
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom CVO Commander of the Royal Victorian Order 1989
New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand New Zealand Commemorative Medal 1990 New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal ribbon.png
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002 QEII Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png
CanadaCanada Canada Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan 2002
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom KCVO Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order 2003
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom AdC (P) Personal aide-de-camp 2004
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom KG Royal Knight of the Order of the Garter 2006 Order of the Garter UK ribbon.png Garter diamonds.jpg
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom GCVO Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order 2011 Royal Victorian Order ribbon sm.jpg RVO-Star.jpg
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012 QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png

Literature (selection)

  • Digel Dempster, Peter Evans: Behind the Doors of Windsor. The English royal family and its scandals. Goldmann, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-442-42487-9 .
  • Helmuth-Maria Glogger: The Secret Life of the Windsors. Knaur, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-426-77951-X .
  • Anthony Holden: The wavering throne. Götterdämmerung in the English royal family. Knaur, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-426-77154-3 .
  • Paul James: Prince Edward. The Queen's youngest son. Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1995, ISBN 3-404-61321-X
  • Kitty Kelly: The Royals. Glory and misery of an English family. Schröder, Düsseldorf 1997, ISBN 3-547-75315-5 .
  • Peter Osborne: Scandal Royal. The real background. VPM, 1992, ISBN 3-8118-3922-5 .
  • Leslie Player: The Windsors and me. Behind the scenes of the English royal family. Heyne, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-453-06910-2 .
  • Ludwig Schubert, Rolf Seelmann-Eggebert: Europe's royal houses. vgs, Cologne 1991, ISBN 3-802-52216-8 .
  • Judy Wade: Great Britain. The history of the British monarchy . In: Princely and royal houses in Europe . Naumann & Göbel, Cologne 1995, ISBN 3-625-10691-4 .

Web links

Commons : Edward Mountbatten-Windsor, Earl of Wessex  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. royal.gov.uk
  2. news.bbc.co.uk
  3. dailymail.co.uk
  4. Uncle Edward has Prince William stalked. In: Spiegel Online. September 27, 2001, accessed December 5, 2014 .
  5. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette : No. 24629, p. 1379 , June 29, 1999.
  6. royal.gov.uk
  7. It is most likely that the title will initially pass to Prince Charles as his heir when the current Duke of Edinburgh dies, and the title will then be reassigned, since it reverts to the crown when he ascends the throne.
  8. New title for the Earl of Wessex at royal.uk, March 10, 2019.
  9. ^ The Duke of York appointed GCVO, February 21, 2011
predecessor Office successor
Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Brooksbank British Succession
No. 11
James, Viscount Severn
New title created Earl of Wessex
1999 – present
current title holder
New title created Earl of Forfar
2019 – present
current title holder